We grow a variety of beans

Bean supports ©Janet AllenBean trellis

Beans are some of our favorite vegetables. They're pretty easy to grow, very productive, nutritious, and very delicious. We could and often do eat them every day.

We primarily grow pole beans and they need support for vertical growth.

Here are young pole beans ready to start climbing a trellis. This is our preferred support for beans but we have tried other ways.

Beans in a circle ©Janet AllenBeans in a teepee-like circle

This is the Burpee bean tower. We use it if we need more climbing areas than we have white trellises. It is somewhat cumbersome to string it with twine.

Bean ladder ©Janet AllenBeans climbing a ladder

There is an infinite variety of other structures that can be used.

Here we found a ladder with a broken rung put out to the curb, and we carried it home. It worked pretty well as a support for beans.

Bean blossoms ©Janet AllenBean blossoms

Beans don't require much care.

Deer and groundhogs do like them, though. Since we have groundhogs in the neighborhood that occasionally frequent our garden, we plant the beans inside the fenced area of the vegetable garden.

An alternative that we used when the garden wasn't fenced was to put a circle of fencing around the bean trellises, nailed to the ground with tent stakes.

Green beans ©Janet AllenGreen beans

Pole beans are very productive, and keep producing until frost.

For maximum production, once they start producing we pick beans every two days.

Pole beans ©Janet AllenOne of our pole bean varieties

Even with just a few patches of pole beans, we harvest an abundance of beans—more than we can eat fresh, even though we often dine on huge bowlfuls for dinner when they're in season.

Green beans ©Janet AllenA big harvest

We freeze quite a few beans, and they make a good ingredient in winter stir fries. We've also sometimes canned them as dilly beans.

Pole beans make many a delicious meal.

Bush beans

Bush beans ©Janet AllenBush beans

Bush beans are earlier than pole beans, but don't continue producing throughout the season as do pole beans.

We grow mostly pole beans, but sometimes grow some bush beans early in the season while we're waiting for the pole beans to start producing.


Bacterial leaf blight(Enlarge) ©Janet Allen
Bacterial leaf blight?

This may be bacterial leaf blight, though it doesn't look like the photo on the Cornell webpage.

Bean leaf brown spots(Enlarge) ©Janet Allen
Bean leaf brown spots

This may be just an earlier stage of the problem in the image above since it's a leaf adjacent to it.

Harvest record

YR LB Notes
14 9
13 44 One of our favorite summer meals
12 35
11 43
10 79
09 30